The fall of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is fueling a surge of conversation regarding the concussion threats faced by older adults. After the accident late last week, the Kentucky politician revealed that he had suffered a fractured shoulder due to the fall.
For older people, the risk of suffering a serious concussion is real. According to data published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), falls are the leading cause of traumatic brain injuries (TBI), accounting for roughly half of all TBI cases. Furthermore, the CDC reports that adults 65 and older account for 44.7% of fall-related TBI-related hospitalizations.
This data becomes even more concerning when considering the unique vulnerability of older people to suffering a concussion. A study conducted by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center found that older individuals have a greater risk of developing complications and long-term cognitive decline associated with a concussion.
These findings make it important for older individuals to exercise caution to minimize their risk of suffering a concussion. Common sense safety measures should be taken, such as avoiding areas with wet surfaces or loose cords that can cause slips. Other measures include improving lighting, securing rugs to avoid tripping, and using non-slip mats in the bathroom.
Furthermore, people over 65 should scrutinize the medications they are taking as certain classes of drugs, such as tranquilizers and sleeping medications, can cause drowsiness and impair motor skills and coordination. Additionally, those suffering from chronic conditions such as balance disorders, congestive heart failure, and Parkinson’s disease should discuss their condition with a doctor to determine the best safety protocols.
We must also remember that most falls occur in the elderly, in the home. For this reason, home safety equipment, such as grab bars and handrails, can prove instrumental in mitigating potential injuries. Futhermore, removing clutter and going over your home for potential safety hazards can be crucial for avoiding a serious fall.
Ultimately, the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has made it even more important for senior citizens to exercise extra caution and practice basic safety protocols. While we all hope to be spared the worst of TBIs and concussions, it’s important to be aware of the threats and take steps to prevent them, especially if you are an older adult. [ad_1]
Are concussions unique in more mature adults?
A great deal of the analysis into concussions focuses on young men and women, specifically athletes, explained Benjamin Emanuel, a neurologist at Keck Drugs at the College of Southern California. But health professionals have determined a cluster of exclusive factors that place more mature grown ups at a increased threat of critical complications subsequent a concussion.
The anatomy of the aging mind can predispose it to additional critical mind injury: For occasion, more mature grownups are at a greater threat of tearing blood vessels in their brains, Dr. Salinas mentioned. And having anticoagulation remedies, like blood thinners, which is additional commonplace in an more mature populace, can elevate the hazard of bleeding in the brain.
Dr. Vavilala included that older grown ups may well also have temper issues like depression, which can worsen in the wake of a concussion, for reasons that authorities never absolutely realize.
How do you take care of a concussion?
There is no 1 drug to overcome a concussion, Dr. Manley mentioned. Alternatively, patients can handle signs or symptoms with rest, actual physical therapy and medication as desired. But, he additional, most more mature sufferers can, and generally do, make a total restoration.
People should really seek the advice of their health care provider about which around-the-counter medications they must choose to control headache indications, Dr. Lumba-Brown claimed.
Therapy for delicate scenarios predominantly involves relaxation, preventing psychological and physical exertion. “It’s like nursing a sprain,” Dr. Emanuel mentioned. The fundamental constructing blocks of good wellbeing — restful snooze, enough hydration, standard examine-ins with a major treatment doctor, as perfectly as social assist from good friends and spouse and children — can all support.
Most more mature older people will recover from a concussion in about a thirty day period, Dr. Lumba-Brown stated, but all-around a third will consider for a longer period than that. People who have bleeding in the brain may have a additional extended restoration time, she extra, which is why it is important to request treatment proper away.